LJ Hooker, UK agency link for referrals

Simon Parker

LJ Hooker has broadened its international reach by signing a strategic agreement for referrals with Countrywide, a prominent residential agent of integrated property services in the United Kingdom (UK).

The agreement has been signed via Hamptons International, a Countrywide subsidiary.

LJ Hooker's Australasian network, which consists of 702 offices with 7,000 real estate professionals, will now leverage Countrywide’s British residential network across 1,300 locations supported by some 8,000 real estate professionals.

The strategic alliance will focus on referrals for listings and buyers in their respective markets, and follows LJ Hookers recent decision to supply its listings to various Asian-focused listing websites, including Juwai.com and iProperty Group.

“Countrywide is the market leader in the UK owning 46 real estate brands – Countrywide is the clear standout of all the British players and a natural fit for us to form this exclusive partnership with,” said LJ Hooker deputy chair, L. Janusz Hooker.

“Together we have a network across the UK, Australia and New Zealand that no other group can match in terms of office coverage, quality and range of real estate service. The partnership will also enable us to learn best practices from each other and provide superior customer service to our local markets” said Mr Hooker.

One trend Mr Hooker is hoping to emulate is the ability for British real estate groups to capture mortgage business as well.

Mr Hooker told the Australian Financial Review that while numerous Australian real estate groups had in-house mortgage arms – LJ Hooker, for instance, has LJ Hooker Financial Services – just 10 per cent of customers use them.

“Over there [in Britain], almost half of their mortgages are dealt with within the group,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

The mortgage broker, real estate agent partnership is a win-win scenario. Only recently, Macquarie Practice Consulting's 2012 Mortgage Broking Benchmarking Report highlighted the importance of agents to mortgage brokers, with the former ranked second only to existing clients (52 per cent and 96 per cent respectively) in terms of the referrals they deliver.

From an agent's perspective, Century 21’s chairman Charles Tarbey said recently that real estate professionals should be looking to source new business with a potential home buyer's “first contact”, which in many cases is a mortgage broker.

Grenville Turner, CEO of Countrywide and chairman of Hamptons International said that Countrywide is always looking for more opportunities to extend its global footprint into relevant markets.

“Australia has long been a popular choice amongst Britons looking for an international move, not least for its beautiful weather but the long-standing historic and cultural relations between our countries have helped to pave the way for a comfortable emigration for many UK buyers,” he said.

Simon Parker

LJ Hooker has broadened its international reach by signing a strategic agreement for referrals with Countrywide, a prominent residential agent of integrated property services in the United Kingdom (UK).

The agreement has been signed via Hamptons International, a Countrywide subsidiary.

LJ Hooker's Australasian network, which consists of 702 offices with 7,000 real estate professionals, will now leverage Countrywide’s British residential network across 1,300 locations supported by some 8,000 real estate professionals.

The strategic alliance will focus on referrals for listings and buyers in their respective markets, and follows LJ Hookers recent decision to supply its listings to various Asian-focused listing websites, including Juwai.com and iProperty Group.

“Countrywide is the market leader in the UK owning 46 real estate brands – Countrywide is the clear standout of all the British players and a natural fit for us to form this exclusive partnership with,” said LJ Hooker deputy chair, L. Janusz Hooker.

“Together we have a network across the UK, Australia and New Zealand that no other group can match in terms of office coverage, quality and range of real estate service. The partnership will also enable us to learn best practices from each other and provide superior customer service to our local markets” said Mr Hooker.

One trend Mr Hooker is hoping to emulate is the ability for British real estate groups to capture mortgage business as well.

Mr Hooker told the Australian Financial Review that while numerous Australian real estate groups had in-house mortgage arms – LJ Hooker, for instance, has LJ Hooker Financial Services – just 10 per cent of customers use them.

“Over there [in Britain], almost half of their mortgages are dealt with within the group,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

The mortgage broker, real estate agent partnership is a win-win scenario. Only recently, Macquarie Practice Consulting's 2012 Mortgage Broking Benchmarking Report highlighted the importance of agents to mortgage brokers, with the former ranked second only to existing clients (52 per cent and 96 per cent respectively) in terms of the referrals they deliver.

From an agent's perspective, Century 21’s chairman Charles Tarbey said recently that real estate professionals should be looking to source new business with a potential home buyer's “first contact”, which in many cases is a mortgage broker.

Grenville Turner, CEO of Countrywide and chairman of Hamptons International said that Countrywide is always looking for more opportunities to extend its global footprint into relevant markets.

“Australia has long been a popular choice amongst Britons looking for an international move, not least for its beautiful weather but the long-standing historic and cultural relations between our countries have helped to pave the way for a comfortable emigration for many UK buyers,” he said.

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